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Old 12-07-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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Need help buying Xmas present please

First off; hello everyone! Nice forum you have here...

My girlfriend has *really* gotten into cooking the last few months. I'm a woodworker so I understand that good tools makes a real difference. I'd like to buy her a cookware set for Xmas but have NO idea what makes a good product.

My budget is around $300. If that's not enough for a good set, I don't mind buying her the basics piece by piece (what *are* the basics?). Her stove is an electric coil if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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Old 12-07-2007, 07:28 PM   #2
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Hi, max. Welcome to DC. You'll get plenty of help. You might want to search the cookware forum to see what threads address your question.

However, I would suggest you purchase at least one good piece of cast iron cookware. Probably a skillet. I couldn't live without my cast iron skillet.

Another piece that is extremely useful is a heavy Dutch oven. I have two that are enamel-coated cast iron made by Le Creuset. I use them all the time.

I could go on and on, but I'll step back and let others offer their suggestions. Before long, you'll have more suggestions than you can believe.
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:31 PM   #3
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I bought an All-Clad 3-quart saute pan a few years ago and use it for practically everything that doesn't go in the oven - and even some things that do I love it. I recently started collecting Le Creuset bakeware, but I'm sticking with stainless steel for stovetop cooking, except I *really* want a Le Creuset Dutch oven (but this isn't about me ). HTH.
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I *really* want a Le Creuset Dutch oven (but this isn't about me ). HTH.
GotGarlic, have you checked out At Caplan-Duval we sell Waterford Crystal, Denby, Noritake, Le creuset, Spode, Portmeirion and so much more. They have about the best prices around. I live in a very rural area and don't have access to Le Creuset outlets, etc. Caplan runs specials regularly, which is great.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:07 PM   #5
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How about some good knives??
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #6
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Does she have a good mixer?

$300 is perfect to get her a Kitchenaid stand mixer. You can get a "classic series" for about $250... (check your local Wal Mart before ordering online, you might not have to pay shipping on it...)

Or you could splurge and get her an Artisan Series model for $350 ish plus shipping.

That's what I would get if I were buying for me... but I don't have the budget for it at the moment.

Cookware though... someone else is gonna have to comment here.

I've heard good things about All-Clad...
But at $600+ for a 9 piece set (on sale even... @ FoodNetwork.com) it's expensive stuff.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:37 PM   #7
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First of all, you are sweet to go to the trouble of researching this.


I would absolutely recommend either the 5 quart or 7 quart Le Creuset french ovens.

If she's really into cooing, she'll use it alllllllllll the time. And, she'll have it forever, and then her kids or grandkids will have it.

It's top quality that has little rival -- something that can't always be said for other kinds of cookware. You can have endless debates about the merits of a brand of SS saucepan, for example.

A KA mixer, like VT suggested, is also a wonderful thing to have in the kitchen.

If she doesnt have a food processor, though, that would be my top choice. A cook cannot live without one.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:36 AM   #8
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Well, perhaps I should be more specific (hopng she dosn't subscribe to this forum). She suffers from Celiac disease, so any wheat product is out, which is why she doesn't seem to use a mixer much. Most of what she makes seems to require a good set of knives and pans/pots. I've read the forum, and the Calphalon Tri-ply seems well recommended, so I'm looking at the stainless 13 piece set on amazon.com. I may be able to scrounge enough up to get her a nice chef knife to round things out...
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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I would stay away from a chefs knife. That is something she needs to try out to make sure it fits her, kind of like buying shoes.

Calphalon makes cookware so you won't go wrong with that. Sets are not always the best way to go though. Piece by piece is usually better unless you are positive all the pieces will get used.

I like the Le Cruset dutch oven idea. That is a great piece she would love.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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you don't need to pay the high prices for All Clad try ply or for Calphalon..there are other brands now available that are just as good or the same. Walmart has some of them and so does Sams.....

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